There are more than 60 private or public lakes in Putnam County, and countless stream and tributaries. These beautiful water bodies add to our sense of place, and contribute to our enjoyment of our natural landscape. Some are protected by forested buffers, while other are adjacent to roads, lawns, and parks, subjecting them to possible contaminants.
Physical, Chemical and Biological processes affect water quality. With a proper balance of all three, water quality can be a healthy and suitable habitat for fish, as well as a safe environment for recreational activities, such as fishing or swimming. Human disturbances are the greatest pollutant sources, such as construction, improper landscaping practices, and accidental spills. Unknown, unmeasured amounts of pollutants, or non-point source pollution, is a major issue affecting our water bodies.
Runoff can carry soil-borne pathogens, soil particles, nutrients, fertilizers, and pesticides, into surface waters, contaminating them and causing harmful algal blooms (HABS) and collateral damage to wildlife. When the natural acting plant filter, also known as riparian buffer, is removed, often for easy access or clear view, of the water, we lose a vital water-quality protection.
Poor water quality can be harmful to the ecosystem, as well as to human health. Swallowing, having contact with contaminated water, and eating fish from those areas can result in illness. Water quality test can be done with professionals or through a DIY water testing kit.
Last updated March 10, 2023